FDM Hosts First Ever Mr. Fordham Pageant


Fordham Dance Marathon hosts their first pageant, Mr. Fordham, raising money for the B+ Foundation. (Courtesy of MK Prosky Gilbert)

Maribelle Gordon, Contributing Writer

Last Friday, Fordham Dance Marathon (FDM) raised over $11,368 at their inaugural Mr. Fordham pageant competition and fundraiser. 

FDM recruited 10 esteemed Fordham gentlemen to showcase their talents to raise money for the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. Each contestant earned votes through individual campaigns to raise money that would go directly to the B+ Foundation.

The contestants started the night off strong in a group dance that was choreographed in collaboration with hip-hop dance team Fordham Flava. The boys were then introduced one by one with escorts that helped them showcase their personalities and engage with the audience. 

Each contestant also had to demonstrate a talent to the audience to win more votes. These talents included freestyle jump rope, singing, Irish step dancing, juggling and hypnotism.

The talent portion was followed by a traditional question and answer portion, giving each candidate an opportunity to display more of their skills, express their beliefs and opinions and present a little more of their personalities. 

Although all of the candidates made incredible performances, a winner still had to be crowned, which was done by Fordham University’s very own Miss West Virginia Teen USA, Emma Kitchen, FCRH ’26. Jonathan Eng, FCRH ‘23, took the crown after blowing the crowd away with his jump rope routine, which he performed almost entirely sitting down, and raising an astounding $4296. Eng’s decision to sign up for the pageant was a bit spur of the moment, but he said he ultimately loved participating. 

“I’m so glad I did sign up, participating with the guys was so much fun and practicing the dances with my escort and others was hilarious,” said Eng about the Mr. Fordham experience. 

Andy Meeker, FCRH ’25, another contestant in the pageant, says that “[he] decided to do Mr. Fordham because it seemed like a fun way to raise money for a good cause, and [he] wanted to be a part of making it a success.” The positive and uplifting elements of this fundraiser, along with many others that FDM puts on, reflect the optimism toward helping kids and their families that this organization hopes to encourage. 

FDM executive director Ella McGarvey, FCRH ’23, celebrated how the positivity and lively nature of this event captured the spirit of FDM and the B+ Foundation. “It was really cool to be able to partner with people who aren’t necessarily on FDM but wanted to do a lot of good for FDM and bring laughs in a very wholesome way to campus,” said McGarvey.

After a captivating hour of dancing, singing and celebrating the skills of some of Fordham’s most interesting men, FDM held a “Five Minutes of Magic,” which is an opportunity for audience members to help spread the word on FDM’s campaign. In just five minutes of sending texts, emails and donations, the crowd raised over $500 for the cause. 

This event was one of several preliminary fundraisers that FDM hosts for the B+ Foundation throughout the year in preparation for their namesake event at the end of the academic year. 

The B+ Foundation serves to honor the life of Andrew McDonough who passed away at 14 after battling childhood cancer. B+ raises money to fund cancer research and provide support to families of children battling cancer. During the pageant, director McGarvey explained Andrew’s story and why the services of this organization are so important. McGarvey also shared the story of another child named Asta, who is currently battling cancer and has been greatly impacted by the efforts of B+. 

At the Mr. Fordham event alone, FDM raised enough money to give 11 families much-needed support and relief. Through the money raised at Mr. Fordham and all other FDM events, families will receive both financial and emotional help to aid the stress of navigating a journey battling cancer. The foundation also hopes to spread awareness and increase optimism regarding the progress of cancer research. 

For more ways to get involved with FDM, stay up to date with their events and make donations, follow their Instagram,  @fordhamdancemarathon.